Autumn will always be a busy season in the garden. Now is the time to cut back and tidy up, clear leaves and plant spring bulbs. For the exotic gardener, now is also the time to think about bringing tender plants under cover, or to start constructing shelters and stock-piling horticultural fleece!
Thankfully, despite the cooling temperatures and ever shortening days, there is still the excitement and anticipation of new growth and interesting flowers to come in the garden. At least, if like me, you enjoy growing Arums!
I'll be the first to admit, Arums are not top of the list for favourite flowers for most people. They have a reputation for being either weedy, tender, smelly, ugly and fussy. Occasionally, I meet people who state that Arums are all these things! It is at this point that I like to correct them, and show just how rewarding, easy and garden worthy these plants really are by pointing out a few choice species.
Most Arums start into leaf just when everything else is dying down. That way they can enjoy the brighter conditions that are left when the leaves have fallen from the trees, whilst growing in shady and cool locations that would be too shaded during the summer months. The leaves can be large and lush and add interest to the exotic garden during the autumn and winter months. And the flowers, well, they are marvellously weird! Bright colours, strong scents (both pleasant and not so pleasant!) and they are interestingly shaped.
Many gardeners will be aware of Arum italicum, with its variegated leaves and clusters of bright red berries in early summer. Less well known, however, is Arum creticum; a real stunner that any aroid fan should grow. The 'FCC Form' is the only variety that is reliable in the UK, the others being a tad on the tender side. The FCC part of the name stands for First Class Certificate, awarded by the RHS. The lemon yellow flowers have the added bonus of an attractive scent.
Arum purpureospathum is another beautiful species with enormous spathes. As the name suggests, these are purple in colour. This is a lovely hardy Arum that does well planted in a sunny position.
We currently have a number of Arum species ready for sale on our website www.bencandlin.co.uk and now is an ideal time for planting the corms, so go on, why not try something new this Autumn and plant an Arum in your garden?!
Chelsea people: Tuesday
2 days ago